Wednesday, May 18

The war in Ukraine causes Pink Floyd to compose again

David Gilmour, vocalist and guitarist for Pink Floyd, already knew Andriy Khlyvnyuk, from the Ukrainian rock band BoomBox, when he saw him singing in a video published by the Armed Forces of the country attacked by Russia. Khlyvnyuk, with whom the progressive rock group had shared the stage in London —in a concert in favor of the Belarus Free Theater, a theater company persecuted by the Belarusian government— had been mobilized for the militias of his country.

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The song that Khlyvnyuk sings is Oi u luzi chervona kalyna (“Oh, the red viburnum in the meadow”, in its Spanish translation), a patriotic anthem composed in 2014 in honor of a Ukrainian battalion of the Austro-Hungarian army. And to Gilmour, as explained in The Guardianmotivated him to create something from that recording.

The result is the song Hey Hey Rise Up, Pink Floyd’s first composition in 28 years and which uses a sample of Andriy Khlyvnyuk’s voice on that recording in front of Saint Sophia Cathedral in kyiv. The title comes from the last verse of the original song, which reads, in its English translation: “Hey, hey, rise up and rejoice” (“Hey, hey, get up and cheer up.”) Khlyvnyuk’s video caused many other people to record themselves singing the same song, which gave rise to the Armed Forces to create a choral video bringing all the voices together.

The Pink Floyd video clip, published at midnight from Thursday to Friday, begins by explaining where the song comes from. Some signs on the image of Russian tanks with a Z painted on their surface, remind us that on February 22, Russia invaded Ukraine and that Khlyvnyuk left the tour he was doing with his group in the United States to join the army: “Now Pink Floyd has joined Andriy in supporting his message of resistance,” the video says. Mat Whitecross, co-director of Road to Guantanamo and other musical films such as biopics by Ian Dury Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll or Oasis: Supersonic shot the video, with a projection of Andriy Khlyvnyuk’s video behind him, on the same day the group recorded the song.

The cover, in which a sunflower, a Ukrainian symbol, is represented, has been made by the Cuban artist residing in Texas Yosan Leon. The benefits of streaming and song downloads they will end up at Ukraine Aid Fund of the United Nations.

Since the death of keyboardist Richard Wright in 2008, the group had assumed they would never write again, but the invasion of Ukraine changed Gilmour’s mind, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law. “We want to show our support for Ukraine and, in this way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become,” said the musician. in the publication of the song on YouTube. He is joined on the song by drummer Nick Mason, 78, a founding member of Pink Floyd, session bassist Guy Pratt (married to Richard Wright’s daughter) and musician Nitin Sawhney replacing Wright on keyboard.